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Where will the Santos gas wells go? Artist's gasfield impression sparks questions on 'profound and negative impact'

Community groups from across North West NSW have commissioned a graphic designer to create an artist’s impression of the 850 coal seam gas wells Santos plans to put over the Pilliga Forest and Yarrie Lake areas in the Narrabri Shire. They are calling on Santos to publicly disclose where their proposed wells and other infrastructure are actually going to go.

The well locations in the conceptual map are based on aerial photos of current Queensland coal seam gas fields.

Alistair Donaldson has a farm at Willala that has been in his family for 130 years, which will border the proposed Santos coal seam gas production area if it goes ahead. “I’ve got grave concerns about the impact of Santos’ plans to sink a gasfield with hundreds of coal seam gas wells through our local aquifers and across this recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin. “The spread of gasfields across this region will have the most profound and negative impact on our farming businesses and our communities for the foreseeable future.

“850 wells across the project area may just the beginning for Santos, who are currently drilling coal seam gas wells in the Pilliga only 250 metres apart. This could mean there could be room for stage 2 and 3 in this area, and this map could look much worse, with gas wells into the thousands.

Narrabri resident Rohan Boehm of local community group People for the Plains felt the map was needed, as no one knew what the impacts of this gasfield would be for Narrabri.

“This map poses the clear question to Santos: Is this gasfield what people of Narrabri Shire should be expecting? “Santos is proposing to put a gasfield right around our Yarrie Lake recreational area, yet most Narrabri residents have been kept in the dark about the exact nature of their gasfield plans.”

“We are hearing sobering tales of the impacts of coal seam gas on water supplies from other parts of Australia and North America. I encourage everyone to come along to a talk by a Rancher from the United States to hear firsthand about how his water supply was destroyed by coal seam gas fracking. The talk is at the Crossings Theatre Narrabri from 6pm on Thursday 27 February.”